Visual Studio Frequently Asked Questions

Visual Studio 2015

Install and setup

Why is my setup taking so long / hanging partway through? What’s going on?
In VS 2015 you can chose to configure your setup to only install the tools you want, which makes the install lighter and faster. If you chose to do a full installation though, Visual Studio is a pretty big product and will take over 30GB of disk space after installation and it installs a lot of third party software including the Android SDK, the Java Developer Kit, and the Windows and Android emulators. The progress indicator during installation of the third-party software doesn’t advance, but the software is usually being installed — that’s a bug we’re going to fix. On a slow connection in particular, download can take a very long time or even time out. If setup doesn’t complete successfully, try the ISO image.
Where are the ISO Images for VS 2015?
Browse to and select Visual Studio 2015 from the left navigation on the page. Select the product you want, then in the drop down for “choose format,” select ISO.
Can I create a custom ISO image that includes all the third party software?
You’re going to want to use the /layout switch on setup to create an offline setup. To do that, browse to and select Visual Studio 2015 from the left navigation on the page. Select the Web (Online) format for the installer and when prompted by the browser, save the file. Then go to the command line and run that setup program from where you saved it, but include the /layout switch. This MSDN article section on Downloading VS for an offline installation MSDN explains more about how to do that.
Can I upgrade from VS 2015 RC to VS 2015 RTM?

Yes. Visual Studio 2015 RTM installs right on top of VS 2015 RC or any other previous CTP for VS 2015. Go to the downloads page on to start the VS 2015 RTM download.

The upgrade however works only when upgrading at the same SKU level e.g. upgrading from VS 2015 RC Professional to VS 2015 RTM Professional. The upgrade from RC to RTM won’t work if the SKU level is different, e.g. when upgrading from Community to Professional, Professional to Enterprise, or downgrading from Enterprise to Professional, or Professional to Community. In this case you will need to uninstall the existing version of VS 2015 before installing VS 2015 RTM . Check out this MSDN library on Installing Visual Studio for more info on troubleshooting and repairing your installation.

Does VS 2015 work side by side with VS 2013, or VS 2012?
Yes Visual Studio 2015 works side by side with VS 2013, &/or VS 201This MSDN article on Installing VS Versions side-by-side provides details on how this works.

Licensing and purchase

I signed into the IDE, but it’s still telling me that the trial will expire. What’s going on?
The odds are that the account you signed in with doesn’t have an MSDN subscription or Visual Studio Online subscription associated with it. Sign in with an account that does and the license should be issued automatically or apply a product key
Community Edition is telling me my trial has expired. Do I have to pay for Community edition?
No, Community edition is free to use. We use the same infrastructure that allows you to unlock VS w/ an online subscription to manage the requirement of signing into Community edition so some of our strings overlap cross these scenarios. Trial here means the period you can use the community edition before you must sign in to fully unlock the IDE.
Why do I have to sign in with my Microsoft account every day to access Azure resources?
The token issued for a Microsoft account have a fixed 12-hour lifecycle. We are working on improvements that will allow us to apply a more liberal lifecycle policy on the tokens issued for MSAs through Azure. In the interim we recommend setting a Work or School account as the administrator for subscriptions you access frequently because tokens issued to Work or School accounts have a more permissive lifecycle policy. You can add an additional account to Visual Studio under “File -> Account Settings” and access azure resources throughout Visual Studio by selecting that account from the Account picker that appears.
Where can I buy Visual Studio Pro without MSDN (Pro only)?
It will be available for sale via resellers and the online Microsoft Store starting on September 1st, the delay is due to channel logistics. In the meantime, you can rent Visual Studio Professional 2015 monthly for $45 (US pricing). Details on how to buy are on the get user licenses page on You will need to choose the Visual Studio Online Professional plan and then you can sign in to the Visual Studio Professional 2015 trial and it'll work. We don't however offer product keys through Visual Studio Online.
I already have a paid SKU of VS 201Do I need to pay for VS 2015?


Visual Studio 2015 does not install on top of VS 2013, but is installed alongside VS 201You can however, try VS 2015 for free for 30 days, after which your license will expire. Additionally you can use Visual Studio 2015 Community for free. Check out the license terms for using VS Community.

Tools and features

I installed VS 2015 but can’t find tools for Windows 10 development. Where are they?
During setup, Windows 10 tools aren’t turned on by default. Re-run setup (e.g. Go to the control panel and select Visual Studio and click modify or change) and click on the Advanced button. You’ll see a check box there for the Win10 tools. Turn it on and proceed.
I can't find Visual Studio 2015 in the Start Menu. Is my VS install corrupt?

No, your VS install is not corrupt. The Visual Studio 2015 application icon has been moved outside of the Visual Studio 2015 folder. If you're running Windows 7, you can find the application at the top of the "All Programs" list grouped with other application icons. If you are running Windows 8, 8.1 or 10, you can find the application listed under the ‘V’ grouping. If you are still unable to find it, use Windows search (press the Windows key, then type “Visual Studio 2015”).

The application icon will no longer be located in the Visual Studio 2015 folder.

Why do the diagnostics tools fail unexpectedly?
The primary cause for this is a known issue for those of you that have upgraded from an earlier preview version of Windows 10. If you are on Windows 10 you can confirm the issue by switching to the “Diagnostics Hub” tab of the output window, and you will see “No such interface supported” in the output. More information, including workaround steps to resolve this issue please read the post on No such interface supported in VS 2015 on Windows 10. Other causes of the window failing unexpectedly are being actively investigated, if you experience other failures please report these using the Feedback tools in Visual Studio 2015.
How do I use NuGet in a Cordova project?
We’re working on guidance documentation to help you with this. We are also closely monitoring your feedback and are looking at improve this experience.
When saving Xaml files or switching between Xaml and C#, why does VS lock up for a few seconds. How can I workaround it?
This is a bug. We are working on a fix right now. Meanwhile the workaround is to remove msbuild:Compile property from file properties.


Where can I learn about billing for my Visual Studio Online account?
You can learn more about billing for Visual Studio Online by going to the billing section of our get started pages.

Visual Studio Online Service

What happens if I forget my username, password or account URL?
Visit Microsoft Account Password Reset to recover your Microsoft account or password. You can find your account URL on the Account tab.
How do I change my account URL?
You can change your account URL from your account settings page. See the Service Update for January 9, 2013 for instructions.
How do I change the owner of my account?
You can change the owner of your account from your account settings page. See the Change Account Ownership topic in our Get Started section for instructions.
How can I close or delete my Visual Studio Online account?
If you don’t need your account anymore, follow these steps to delete your account.
Can I use a work account with Visual Studio Online (VSO)?
Yes, but your VSO account must be set up for work accounts. If you don’t have a VSO account, find out how to sign up for Visual Studio Online with a work account. If you have an existing VSO account, find out how to set up Visual Studio Online for work accounts. Otherwise, you must use Microsoft accounts to sign in.
Can I use a work account with my MSDN subscription?
Yes, after you activate your MSDN subscription with your Microsoft account. You can then add a work account to your subscription on the MSDN My Account page. That way, you can use this work account with Visual Studio Online and Microsoft Azure, if your subscription includes these benefits. You get the same level of benefits whether you use a work account or a Microsoft account. Find out how to add a work account to your MSDN subscription.
I'm having trouble assigning “Eligible MSDN Subscriber” licenses. Where can I get help?
As you adopt Visual Studio Online and assign licenses to your users, you may want to assign the “Eligible MSDN Subscriber” license type to team members. The Visual Studio Online Best Practices: Troubleshooting issues with the "Eligible MSDN Subscriber” license type blog post provides detailed steps to help you.
Where can I find information about Visual Studio Online SLAs?
You can find the Visual Studio Online SLAs at the Download Center.

Security and privacy

Why are you asking for extra information when I sign in?
When you sign in for the first time, we will ask you for some extra information so that we can personalize your experience. If our Terms of Service have changed since you last signed in, you may be asked to agree and confirm that your information is up-to-date.
How do I know my source code and project data are secure?
We follow industry best practices and have enterprise-grade security measures to help protect your code and project data. In addition, all communication between your computer and the service takes place over an encrypted HTTPS connection.
Will Microsoft claim any ownership on my code or intellectual property?
No. Your code and your IP are yours. See our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy for more information.
What will you do with my personal information?
See our Privacy Policy for details.

Compatibility and support

Does Visual Studio Online work with any development tool?

Visual Studio Online works with two major IDEs in the market today: Visual Studio and Eclipse. We also support integration with other tools through the TFS MSSCCI Provider, and with our command-line tools, which can be installed by downloading the free Team Explorer Everywhere product.

You can find downloads for these tools here:

In addition, you can use any Git client to access Team Projects with Git repositories, including:

  • Visual Studio 2015
  • Eclipse with the EGit extension
  • Xcode (using Xcode’s built-in support for Git repositories)
Can I really build apps for non-Microsoft platforms using Visual Studio?
Yes! All source code is treated equally, so for the majority of the capabilities we provide, it doesn’t make a difference what platform you’re developing for. The hosted build functionality has some restrictions; see the Hosted build controller topic in our Get Started section to learn more about what is supported.
Can I use any development language with Visual Studio Online?
Yes, you can use any language for just about any type of development project. Most features like version control, project management tools, and feedback collection are language agnostic. Some capabilities, notably build, have limitations based on our default build configuration. But, you can add the additional software that you need in order to support your build automation.
Can I use Visual Studio Online for commercial/production projects?
Yes! You can use the service for any project you like. Our terms of service support development, test, and production use.
Can I download my Visual Studio Online project data to use on my own machine?
You can use our tools in Visual Studio, Eclipse, or from the command line to keep a local copy of your source code on your machine. Today there isn’t a way to export work items or other project data to your local machine, but we’re planning on adding this capability at a later date.
What browsers do you support?
We support and regularly test against most modern browsers, including IE9 and later, Safari 4 and later, and the latest two releases of Chrome and Firefox.


How do I use the load testing features?
You can learn more about using the load testing features of Visual Studio Online at the Load test your app topic in our Get Started section.
How can I use an on-premises build controller with Visual Studio Online?

To set up an on-premises build controller with your Visual Studio Online account, follow the instructions at the Deploy and configure a build controller topic in the MSDN Library.

Currently, we do not have support for continuous deployment to Azure using an on-premises build controller, so if you are trying to setup continuous deployment to Azure, you will need to use a hosted build controller.

How can I get support for Application Insights?
Application Insights is in Limited Preview and is supported via the Visual Studio Application Insights forum.
How can I customize my work items or process template in Visual Studio Online?
At this time, you can’t customize work items or process templates. To help us prioritize new features, you can add your vote to this user voice request: Customize Process Template on Visual Studio.

Service availability

How do you back up and protect my data?
Visual Studio Online uses many Microsoft Azure storage features to make sure your data is available in case of hardware failure, service disruption, or data center disasters. Also, the VSO team has procedures to protect data from accidental or malicious deletion. Learn more about how we back up and protect your data.